This wasn’t my original choice for our Free For All Fortnight, which is what I’ve just now dubbed the next two weeks of reviews. I wanted Whiplash (2014) but Netflix lied to me and it wasn’t really there.
Jill and I will be retreating into the comforting bosom of the Horror genre for the month of October so we’ll each be taking the opportunity to pick absolutely anything this week and next.
I can’t wait to see what Jillian picks, I hope to God it’s better than this drivel. No pressure.
(I’m going to be really harsh on this film, I’m afraid).
If I Stay (2014)
IMDB Synopsis: Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined. The choice is hers if she can go on..
Mia Hall is just a normal teenager, obsessed with Beethoven and a bit of a whizz on the old cello. She’s also got a super fit boyfriend who’s in a band, currently off on tour somewhere.
Her parents are former punks who gave it all up to be good parents to Mia and her young brother, Teddy and that’s about it. One fine snow day, the family take off in the car. Alas, in a split second their lives are changed forever.
As the trailer and synopsis of this film reveal, Mia is thrown into a fight to survive. While she has an out-of-body experience (not as good as Ghost (1990)), and finds out what has become of the rest of the family following the crash (there’s a crash), we are treated to a bunch of flashbacks that lead up to this fateful day.
We learn about her relationship with sexy Adam, who falls for her through the door of the music room when she’s lost in music one day. Of how she’s never really been that comfortable in ‘his world’.
(Dear God I cannot express enough how different Mia’s high school experience is to the one I had. If this were a flashback to my adolescence, Mia would be played by a chubby ginger with an eye patch just trying to get through the day without drawing attention to herself.)
We take a trip down Cello Lane where we’re treated to a sweet lesson on how Mia found a soul-mate in her beloved instrument and just how fucking cool her parents are. Which is a bit of a kicker when…
… should I? (I can’t).
Basically, the film centres around a hospital and Mia’s not only physically fighting for her life but also fighting for a reason to stay on this plane – hence the title – so obviously there are a few fatalities along the way. Hope you’ve got the Kleenex to hand!
I’m not going to beat around the bush here, I feel sick from working out this morning (go me) and I know later, when I get home from work, that I’ll be heading straight to my bed for at least an hour to try and shift this feeling. My heart’s just not in this film and it won’t be in this review later. So let’s do this.
The premise is a good one I guess but it has been done and it’s been done with a hell of a lot more panache too. Before I give you my thoughts, shall we have a few questions?
As you wish.
Will Mia and fam get through this awful night? Will Mia live to make it work with Adam, despite the distance between them while he’s on the road and she’s off fulfilling her own destiny? (e.g. Will Mia get into The Julliard School, NYC?)
And will you actually care? I guess that is the main question.
Chloë Moretz is beautiful. I like her, I do. But I sometimes feel like she’s punished (maybe just in my eyes) for not being Hit Girl in every performance outside the Kick Ass movies. I feel like she should always be cool and sweary and fearless – and often she is not. Even in Carrie (2013) she was all cow eyes and not much more (although she was M-E-A-N in Dark Places (2015), so I know there’s potential there).
None of the above is really her fault tbh and I’m sure she’ll grow into a fine actress who will make me eat my hat. But this here is just not the role.
The movie is sweet in places (I guess), touching in others (those grandparents, man!) and really fucking boring for a lot of it (90%). Adam is a total fitty, Mia’s parents are gorgeously layback – all the teen angst is fine, I mean we’ve all been there but would Adam really be that sure of himself and so open about his emotions aged what. 19? I don’t know. It’s all a little too Dawson’s Creek (1998-2003) for me.
And even though I’m not telling you who makes it, or if Mia decides to stay or go, I feel like the poor girl is dealt some properly brutal cards in life.
My Rating: 2.5/5